Time for a UN agreement on carbon pricing


By José Antonio Ocampo, Professor at Columbia University and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Finance to the G20


Climate change has become an existential threat to humanity. The world has failed to adopt the decisions needed to meet the Paris Agreement targets, restated at COP26 in Glasgow last year, to keep the rise in average global temperature to under 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels and well below 2oC. As the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates, current national commitments are still insufficient: CO2 emissions need to fall by around 45% by 2030 from 2010 levels and global emissions need to peak before 2025.

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Doing climate adaptation better


By Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Independent University Bangladesh


I have written about the need to ramp up adaptation in order to avoid the worst impacts of human-induced climate change around the world, as lead author on adaptation for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for over a decade. So the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC containing that message was nothing new. 

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How can Africa benefit from the private sector’s growing interest in climate finance?


By Anzetse Were, Senior Economist, FSD Kenya


While the private sector across the world is on a journey towards greening their activities, COP26 marked a milestone so significant that it was termed the Business and Finance COP. In other words, COP26 made ‘climate action mainstream business’. But what challenges and opportunities does this newfound interest present for Africa?

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How to fix the failures of climate finance


By Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Independent University Bangladesh


One of the positive outcomes of the COP26 held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021 was a universal acknowledgement of the failure of developed countries to deliver climate finance to developing countries, and even of developing countries themselves to actually deliver to the most vulnerable communities within their own territories.

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Why COP26 failed to address loss and damage from climate change


By Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Independent University Bangladesh


On 9 August 2021, the science working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report showed that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are responsible for approximately 1.1°C of warming since 1850-1900. Climate change is not just what is happening now and will happen in the future but also what has been happening for over a century. Today we are dealing with the loss and damage caused by this historical warming.  

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How much is an elephant worth? Valuing natural capital to protect nature and improve wellbeing


By Ekkehard Ernst, ILO Research Department and Geneva Macro Labs


Countries in the Global South dispose of a wealth of natural resources. Yet, many of them are also among the least developed. In the following I will argue that we have the tools to ensure that restoring and maintaining this astonishing biodiversity will enable these countries to reach middle-income status over the next decade, at the same time safeguarding our survival.

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Keeping 1.5 degrees alive means a better future for everyone


By Jayathma Wickramanayake, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, and Heeta Lakhani and Marie-Claire Graf, Focal Points – UNFCCC Youth Constituency


“Climate change will affect youth, children and future generations the most if we do not take action now!” This narrative is frequently heard at climate events in recent years, yet climate commitments and targets set by world leaders continue to focus on the distant future instead of prioritising the urgent climate action needed today. Families are already being repeatedly knocked into poverty, while eco-anxiety is rising among children and youth confronted by a disastrous future. Heat waves are leading to school closures, while floods, cyclones and droughts are driving unprecedented rates of food insecurity.

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How aid for trade can best support Least Developed Countries in the next decade


By Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director of the Enhanced Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat at the World Trade Organisation and Annette Ssemuwemba, Deputy Executive Director of the Enhanced Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat at the World Trade Organisation


The median recovery time of least developed countries (LDCs) from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is three years, according to the International Monetary Fund. More worryingly, more than a dozen of them are likely to take at least five years to recover.   

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Greening international debt data


By Rachid Bouhia, Economist in UNCTAD’s Division for Globalization and Development Strategies


The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated alarming debt levels in developing countries. By the time COVID-19 emerged, public debt in developing countries had increased steadily since 2013, in a context of more recurrent external shocks and rising fragilities in their debt positions, including those related to climate change. By the end of 2019, their total public debt – external and domestic – stood at 59% of combined GDP, the second-highest level on record (Figure 1). On a more positive note, there had also been a notable increase in the diversity and quantity of climate-related financial instruments at the national and regional levels. Information on the nature and scale of these initiatives is today critical to our understanding of – and policy response to – debt statistics.

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Why intermediary cities are vital to breaking dependency on high carbon development


By Dr Michael Lindfield, Senior Consultant and Dražen Kučan, Urban and Energy Efficiency Sector Lead (Green Climate Fund)


More than two thirds of the global population are expected to reside in cities by 2050. Urbanisation offers unprecedented risks and opportunities with respect to the global response to climate change. Cities and urban infrastructure are one of four global systems (others are energy, land and ecosystems and infrastructure) that are key to reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limiting long-term global warming levels to less than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cities represent at least 58% of direct global emissions – 18% of all global emissions came from just 100 cities in 2017 – and constitute at least 21% of the potential for direct global emission reduction.  

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